How To Celebrate Love Your Body Day 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 is  NOW (National Organization of Women’s) 15th annual “Love Your Body Day.” Didn’t know? That’s okay, I didn’t either, until a friend posted about it on Facebook. But I think it’s a fantastic idea and I am embracing it whole-heartedly. At the bottom of this post, I’m suggesting Five Ways To Celebrate Love Your Body Day 2012. But first, you can read a few thoughts… or go ahead and skim your way down to the bottom.

I’d love to love my body, but truthfully, I don’t, most of the time. Like most women, I’ve always kept a running long of the many ways in which my body disappoints me.

According to the National Organization of Women, 80% of US women are dissatisfied with their appearance. I would put this number even higher, based on the women I know.

It’s not surprising, is it? We are bombarded with media images of airbrushed, touched-up, unrealistic females. In many cases, we are actually measuring ourselves against computer-generated images. We will never measure up. 

I was in sixth grade the first time I really felt fat. I’d made the crucial error of telling a friend how much I weighed- 115 pounds.* “Wow,” she said. “That’s a lot.” I felt shamed, crushed, suddenly enormous. “Well, you don’t look like it,” she added. Oh good. Thanks. 

The practice of yoga reminds us that true contentment – santosa- must come from within. By relinquishing our grip on outdated beliefs about our bodies, we can gain freedom from this particular suffering (okay, now we’re wandering into Buddhism, but you get the drift). This makes perfect sense… until you’re in a room with a bunch of Spandexed (Luoned?) women and suddenly, santosa be damned, you’re right back in the sixth grade. She’s got better boobs. My arms aren’t defined enough. These pants make my thighs look fat. I hate myself. 

Honey, the woman next to you is thinking the same thing. And so is the woman with the boobs. But with a little awareness we CAN start to change the way that we think about, talk about, and treat our bodies. It’s not easy- we’re fighting upstream against a wave of media- not to mention the countless products and services available to “fix” whatever’s wrong with you- but you’re reading this article, and that’s a start.

This month, I’ve been able to finally break free of some of this thinking. I became certified as a Curvy-Friendly yoga teacher through the amazing Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga. Anna’s vision- to encourage a body-positive class environment for women of all shapes and sizes- has inspired me incredibly. I especially love Anna’s Curvy LovingKindness Meditation:

may you greet your body with gentleness
may you soften when life invites you to harden
may you listen to your intuition with wisdom and trust it with ease
may you appreciate your body a little more in this moment, just as it is.

With that, my beautiful friends, here are my celebration recommendations for you:

  1. Visit the NOW Love Your Body Campaign page and check out their featured videos.
  2. More of a reader? Click on http://www.eatthedamncake.com and enjoy some excellent {poignant, funny} writing about body image.
  3. Watch this video- No Mirrors In My Nana’s House by Sweet Honey In the Rock. “There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house/ And the beauty that I saw in everything/ was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).” What are you reflecting to others? What are you reflecting to yourself?
  4. Find a Curvy Yoga class. 
  5. Spend an extra minute or two looking in the mirror. Listen to the thoughts that arise. What are you saying to yourself? How critical are you? Would you let your friend say that about herself? Now, turn it around. Find one thing you really love about yourself and admire that. Practice smiling at yourself. Say, “Hey, gorgeous,” or maybe, “You sexy thing, you” and let the ensuing giggles be the ice-breaker in your new relationship with yourself.

How will you celebrate? What recommendations can you offer to others to love their bodies a little more, just as they are?

*Thankfully, at the time, I was unaware that 115 pounds would be the LEAST I would ever weigh. I was depressed enough as it was. 

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3 thoughts on “How To Celebrate Love Your Body Day 2012

  1. Jann

    Excellent blog! I LOVE my happy feet and high cheek bones, but must confess I do give my nose and knees a lot of grief! Oh, other parts too, but, when I find myself sighing at a less than desirable body part, I remember my cheek bones and happy feet and get a little giggle 😉 Thanks Laura! I will spread this news of your blog to several friends.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Beauty in the Broken Shell: Self-Love, Self-Acceptance, and Late-Night Nachos | laurasana

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